According to experts and lay people, a million cures for cancer exist. If the patient travels to some ancient ruin somewhere, there lay the answers. Meditation is key. Diet is the Holy Grail. Anything that works is good for me. Including traditional meds. Why take chances right?
Advice from a reader: Eschew radiation and replace it with prayer. This girl prays with the best of them. Chicago Karen, who does my nails, gifted me a St. Peregrine pin just last week. St. P is the patron saint for cancer. I also have oil from St. Rita of Cascia, the gal who helps widows through hard times. I possess water from Lourdes, which I add to the bath. All are gifts from fellow Catholic girls; the chicks who call on Saints, Sweet Baby Jesus and anyone else who can be of help in times of trouble.
As to skipping the chemical war and praying, my thoughts are pretty simple. Remember the story of God and the guy who wanted to win the lottery? Every day the man prays, “God please let me win the lottery. God please let me win the lottery.” After the third day, the man asks God why he does not answer his prayer and help him. The Lord says, “Buddy, you gotta buy a ticket.” So, although time on my knees plays a part in healing so does sound advice from people in the know.
Interestingly, more than one cancer girl recommends various meditation, massage and reiki therapies. Type A girls are always searching for something to provide relaxation and peace regardless of how many times we plop our bodies down on the massage table and fret over what’s not getting done while we waste ninety minutes getting slathered with hot rocks. But we try, try again.
We first meet Emily at the home of The Goddess. She is there to teach a group of us about yoga nidra, meaning yogic sleep, a deep consciousness for extreme relaxation and insight into the deeper self. Her guided nidra has become key to falling asleep in this house. But Miss Emily’s specialty is reiki, a Japanese technique used to reduce stress, promote relaxation and provide healing. Many cancer girls swear by it.
The premise makes sense to me. If life force energy is low, the body can become ill. If it is high, we can battle such things. Reiki taps into the body’s unlimited energy and performs a little tune up. Interesting, non?
I trundle Gus, my still hateful feeding tube, into the car, carefully hidden under a maxi dress and tell him he will behave. Emily’s room is candle lit and inviting. As I lay on the table centered in the room, I inform Emily of Gus’ existence and the importance of not touching him, as he can be pretty bitchy.
The room fills with silence excepting the soft music, which leads this girl to her to-do list. But then a magical thing happens. It is not my to-do list filling my cranium. Instead I am focused on body, prayers, healing and feeling “at one.” How’d she do that? Sorceress.
She lays hands on trouble spots. It’s not massage but more an intensification of focus—perhaps that’s why I can follow. And there is nary a peep from Gus.
She asks how I feel. “Relaxed, but refreshed,” is all I’ve got. She smiles and shakes her head. I see her again next week. I know not exactly what the magic is. What I do know is I slept through the night for the first time since surgery.
And Gus finally shut up for an hour and half. Bonus.